Staff Profile:Dr Sarah Brewer

Dr Sarah Brewer
Job Title:
Associate Professor

Teaching and Materials Development

Pre-sessional Programme (year-round) specialising in Reading and Extended Writing (Project); summer Pre-sessional (Block 4) - all academic skills

In-sessional English Support Programme specialising in dedicated courses for Master's students in ICMA, the Graduate Institute of International Development and Applied Economics (GIIDAE), the School of Economics and the School of Construction Management and Engineering

Research and Development Co-ordinator

  • disseminating information on conferences, seminars and other events in which members of staff might participate
  • circulating information on research publications, teaching publications and other materials relevant to teaching and research interests in the ISLC
  • leading the Centre's Language Teaching and Research Forum (LTRF), organising speakers and circulating presentation materials
  • developing and communicating a research strategy for the ISLC, encouraging and facilitating research initiatives (mainly small scale action research projects) and assisting with applications for funded research
  • leading the Research Committee, formed to encourage and steer research, liaising in particular with the Department of Applied Linguistics

Publications Co-ordinator

Project managing the development of the English for Academic Study (EAS) series and Transferable Academic Skills Kit (TASK), authored by members of the ISLC, published by Garnet Education

Testing and Assessment

  • final editing of all tests for internal and external administrations
  • contributing to the writing of new tests (text searching and editing)
  • assisting with internal and external administration of tests
Areas of Interest:


  • Academic writing skills across the disciplines
  • Online research skills
  • Referencing skills
  • Electronic feedback
  • Plagiarism and the formative use of Turnitin
  • Developing subject specific course materials
  • Developing language materials for job applications


  • Use of 'feedforward' to develop students' understanding of assessment criteria
  • Rating scales and language frameworks, in particular 'Can Do' statements
Research groups / Centres:

BALEAP Can Do Working Party

BALEAP Publications, Research and Outreach Committee

IATEFL Research SIG committee member

Language Teaching and Research Forum, University of Reading


Brewer, S. (Ed.). (1995)The Early Letters of Bishop Richard Hurd (1739-1762). Woodbridge: The Boydell Press

Brewer, S., (2004). Macro, Cox (bap. 1683, d. 1767). In Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford: Oxford University Press

Brewer, S., & Ditchfield, G. M. (2004). Hurd, Richard (1720-1808). In Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford: Oxford University Press

Conference presentations:

'Verifying criteria for standard setting: the Can Do Project (UK)' (with John Slaght), IATEFL Testing, Evaluation and Assessment SIG Conference, Prague, October 2012,

'Innovation in HE assessment and its impact on in-sessional and pre-sessional programmes', BALEAP PIM, University of Sheffield, November, 2011

'Cross pollination: feeding research into teaching practice', BALEAP conference, University of Portsmouth, April 2011

'Using Jing with low-level reading classes', BALEAP PIM, University of Bristol, February, 2011

'Sweetening the pill: helping students to digest and act upon assessment feedback', BALEAP PIM, University of Nottingham, November, 2010

'Can Do Project', Work in Progress session (with Diane Schmitt and John Slaght), Language Testing Research Colloquium, University of Cambridge, April, 2010

'How dedicated do we have to be? Providing in-sessional English support to Construction Management students', BALEAP PIM, INTO Newcastle, February, 2010

'The EAS series. Preparing for higher education', International Sales Conference, Garnet Education, Reading, February, 2010

'The successes and challenges of in-sessional dedicated writing classes: the need for a flexible approach' (with Sebastian Watkins), BALEAP conference, University of Reading, February, 2009

'Can Do Project' workshop (with Moira Calderwood, Carmel Roche, Diane Schmitt and John Slaght), BALEAP conference, University of Reading, February, 2009

'Does spelling matter for international students?' (with Jonathan Smith), BALEAP PIM : Specific Learning Difficulties In EAP, SOAS, University of London, May 2008

'In-sessional provision: curriculum, teaching and quality' (with Lynda O'Brien and Nicola Taylor), BALEAP PIM, University of Portsmouth, November, 2007

In-sessional Provision: Dedicated classes at Masters level' (with Nicola Taylor). BALEAP PIM, University of Exeter, November, 2005

'Using JISC software to detect plagiarism' (with Joan McCormack), University of Reading Conference of Learning and Technology, July 2004



BA Hons English Language and Literature (Oxon); MA Oxon; MA ELT (University of Reading); PhD Eng. Lit. (University of Birmingham); Cert TEFL

Contact Details

+44 (0) 118 378 4289

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